Trail Blazers

Pregame Notebook: Trail Blazers change up starting lineup vs. Thunder

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Portland's depth is definitely being tested right now.

In the second night of a back-to-back, the shorthanded Trail Blazers are looking to build off Sunday’s 116-113 victory over the Knicks as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder.  

The Blazers announced Monday afternoon that Robert Covington was added to the injury report and will not play against the Thunder due to a concussion.

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Covington suffered a neck strain in the first quarter against the Knicks Sunday, but then returned to the game. He then fell to the floor in the final seconds of the final period after getting tangled up with Julius Randle battling for a rebound.

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said pregame that Carmelo Anthony will start in place of the injured Covington.  

 

Coach Stotts is also starting Gary Trent Jr. at shooting guard instead of Rodney Hood.

Portland's starting five against OKC:

  1. Damian Lillard
  2. Gary Trent Jr.
  3. Derrick Jones Jr.
  4. Carmelo Anthony
  5. Enes Kanter

Stotts explained that Hood will still play Monday night, but in order to have him available at the end of the game with his limited minutes, Hood will come off the bench.

Rodney is playing. He just won’t start. His minutes is a little limited. Last night I wasn’t able to play him in the fourth quarter because of the limit… His minutes get used up pretty quickly as a starter.

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

Hood is limited to “around 20 minutes” according to Coach Stotts.

As far as the severity of Covington’s concussion, Coach Stotts added, “He’s got to go through the [NBA’s concussion] protocol. Hopefully he’ll be able to play against Houston [on Thursday], but he has to go through the concussion protocol.”

The Trail Blazers will once again rely on their role players to step up with CJ McCollum (left mid-foot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) all out as well for Monday’s game.

[RELATED]: Once overshadowed, Anfernee Simons shows Blazers how he can lead in second unit Portland and Oklahoma City tip-off at 7:00p.m. PST on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.